Relocating from Manly to Newcastle to play with the Jets may seem like a small move but stepping back into the Westfield W-League completes a long journey for import Hannah Bromley.
The Kiwi international returned to elite football this year after a two-year absence.
Instead of playing the past two Westfield W-league seasons the towering FIFA World Cup defender has led a self-confessed “nomadic lifestyle” in summer, travelling along the East Coast of New South Wales and finding balance in her life.
“Both years I worked right until September, saved as much as I could, then lived out of the back of a van until February,” Bromley said.
“I travelled up past Byron Bay and down to Ulladulla, surfing and fishing and catching my dinner. Sometimes I was by myself, sometimes I was with friends … you learn a lot about yourself when you do that.”
Bromley hails from New Plymouth, a coastal city in New Zealand where you can skate, surf and snowboard in one day.
She spent five years in the United States on a football scholarship, graduating from the University of Central Connecticut State University with degrees in psychology and public relations, before earning professional football contracts in Norway and Germany.
But she opted out of both early, feeling something was still missing from her life. Then after the “gutted” experience of narrowly missing Olympic selection in 2012, Bromley took up an invitation from a friend to pursue football with Northbridge in Australia.
The move proved life-changing for the 28-year-old, who finally feels like the time is right to return to elite football.
“I have gone through a lot in the last couple of years, especially with being OK with what happens in your life,” Bromley said.
“My main reason for coming to Newcastle was not about me anymore --- I wanted to embrace it as an older person and to help the younger ones coming through as much as I can.”
Jets coach Craig Deans said Bromley brings valuable traits to the Newcastle squad.
“From a football perspective she brings experience and a little bit of leadership, which is something we didn’t have a lot of when we lost Hayley [Crawford] and Emily [van Egmond],” Deans said.
“She is a strong personality which is good for the group to keep working together.”
Bromley’s pre-season was hampered by a knee injury but she has shrugged it off to feature consistently for Jets Women this season.
Her main focus is on doing her job for Newcastle in the next couple of months but some strong performances could earn Bromley a recall to the New Zealand Women’s national squad and put her in the mix for next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.
“I am definitely keen for the Olympics. I have played at a World Cup but not an Olympics … but first of all I just want to enjoy myself with the Jets and see what comes from there,” Bromley said.Newcastle Jets vs. Melbourne City – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 10 & Westfield W-League 2015/16 Round 9
When: Sunday 13 December 2015
Where: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Westfield W-League: 2:00pm
Hyundai A-League: 5:00pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
Members: Please note that entry to both matches is included in your Membership
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